November 8, 2010

I am rushed today, as I must leave to spend two days in Starved Rock State Park, a gem of sandstone, canyons, trees and wildlife. It is a working trip, so I won’t have time to truly enjoy my surroundings to the fullest, so I must get some enjoying in this morning before I go.

The weather is beautiful, mild and balmy. I see my magical sweet potato in the back has been nibbled, but not so the one in front. From the angle today, this little “bird” looks more like a seal. Perhaps in a day or two, I will make out the face of a saint or prophet. I will make photographs, call the local news and become famous overnight for my root vegetable St. Fabiola, patron saint of adultery (I’m not making this up) heralding the apocalypse.

Or maybe not. I think I shall stick with “bird” and “seal.” There is not enough parking in my cul-de-sac for the chance of a media frenzy.

Sources are divided about whether or not this tuber is edible for humans, so we are erring on the side of caution (always good to do with possible poisons) and leaving them for the garden wildlife. As I am not quite sure which cultivar of sweet potato this was, I will pay attention and save the plant tag for next year – in fact, I’ll make sure I purchase an edible variety.

There are white plumes of grass against the dark burgundy of the pin oak. They blaze into the sky, shocking and bleached. The sunflower seed heads and stems are silhouetted against the sky, brown against sapphire, rough against smooth.

There are bugs eating a weed in the front beds, making lace of the leaves, eating in fine circles.

White fuzzy seeds lay on the surface of the pond, cradled by the brown leaves. I can’t figure out where they come from, but here they are.

I pack the car, roll down the windows and start my drive. My garden is not as large or as varied or as populated as Starved Rock, but at times, I believe it is just as beautiful.


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